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3i8                 HISTORY OF PERSIA                 CHAP.
and proceeded to Kazvin, where he attempted to raise an
army ; but even the Shah Savan tribe was false to its
oath, and consequently the mission, in which but little
energy was displayed, proved a complete failure.
The Death of the White Eunuch.—Famine now held
Isfahan in its grip, and a crowd collected outside the
anderun and insisted on the Shah's leading them to battle.
Ahmed Aga, the heroic eunuch, diverted the fury of the
mob on to the enemy, whom he attacked with such dash
that he seized some positions of importance. Needless
to say, he was not supported, and when he made the
matter known to the dastardly Shah, he was accused of
meddling in affairs that did not concern him. The
devoted and broken-hearted servant demonstrated to
Shah Husayn that he had been made the dupe of a
treacherous general, and then returned home and took
poison.
MaSk Mahmud of Sistan.—Among the successful
adventurers of the period was Malik Mahmud, a scion of
the Keianian family of Sistan. Driven from his native
province, he collected a body of men in the district of
Tun, where the Afshar governor of Meshed attacked him
with a large force. The Keianian chief sallied out with
his handful of supporters, killed the Persian general and
routed his troops; after this success he became an
independent ruler of the Tun district.
While the Afghans were besieging Isfahan, Malik
Mahmud raised an army of ten thousand men and
marched to Gulnabad. The hopes of the Persians again
rose high, but only to be utterly dashed when the
Keianian chief, bribed by the promise of Khorasan and
Sistan and some valuable presents, deserted his country
in her supreme hour of need and marched off to take
possession of his provinces.
The Surrender of Isfahan, A.H. 1135 (1722).—The
Shah attempted to buy off the invader by accepting the
terms originally proposed by the Afghans, but Mahmud
pointed out that the circumstances had entirely changed
to his advantage. While these negotiations were proceed-
ing Malik Mahmud appeared on the scene, and his